PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A former Brown University student alleges in a lawsuit unsealed Monday that he was kicked out more than three years ago after being falsely accused of rape by the daughter of a major donor and fundraiser for the Ivy League school.

William McCormick III and his parents say university administrators gave him a one-way ticket home to Wisconsin after he was accused of rape in the fall of 2006. McCormick alleges the school never told the police about the rape allegations and accepted them as true without investigating.

The lawsuit says the father of the accusing student is a Brown alumnus who has “donated and raised very substantial sums of money,” was in regular contact with school administrators about the allegations and contacted university president Ruth Simmons directly.

Brown’s attorney, Steven Richard, has said in court papers that the school handled the rape allegations appropriately and told a judge Monday that the lawsuit didn’t establish any wrongdoing and made vague and unsubstantiated claims against various administrators.

The lawsuit says McCormick, a nationally ranked wrestler in high school who obtained a scholarship to Brown, was accused of rape in September 2006 by a fellow freshman who lived in his dorm. The student initially accused him of stalking and harassing her, at which point a no-contact order was issued against McCormick.

Encouraged by her friends, the student then reported that she had been raped to her resident adviser, who urged her to repeat her allegations to the deans, according to the lawsuit.

The next day, McCormick was told he was being accused of sexual misconduct but was never given a copy of the complaint or a chance to defend himself, according to the lawsuit, which says he was then barred from campus and driven to the airport to catch a flight home.

The lawsuit says no sexual contact occurred and no charges were ever filed. The woman maintains that she was raped and that her allegations are true, said her attorney, Joseph Cavanagh.

U.S. District Judge William Smith heard arguments Monday on whether to dismiss the lawsuit. He told J. Scott Kilpatrick, an attorney for the McCormick family, that the complaint was a “mess” and that some of its claims so far appear unsubstantiated. He said the lawsuit was not specific enough in describing what 15 Brown staff and administrators, including Simmons, are alleged to have done wrong.

But he also said he was troubled that the university never alerted police if it considered the rape allegation credible.

“The thought that with all the people involved in this matter at different levels, a determination is made to not tell law enforcement, even the Brown Police Department — I’m having trouble getting that,” Smith said.


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